What is the difference between an electric bicycle and a conventional bicycle?

An electric bicycle is very similar to a conventional one, but small details make a difference to make pedaling easier — find out what they are

The two types of skinny people are very similar — discover the details that differentiate them

Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular in Brazil, especially in large cities, where they are considered an important non-polluting mode and give that extra strength for those who need to cover long distances or face climbs.

In 2021, sales of this type of bicycle surpassed those of 2020 (which had already registered an all-time record). According to Aliança Bike (Brazilian Association of the Bicycle Sector), 35,722 units of the vehicle were sold from January to October 2021, and the forecast was to close the year with a 34% increase in sales.

Another survey by Aliança Bike also shows that 56% of people who adopted an electric bicycle in 2020 previously used a car to travel and others 21%, public transport. 

But, after all, what is different about an electric bicycle compared to a traditional one? 

Basically just the motor and battery. The rest —structure and parts— are the same.

The motor of electric bicycles has a power of 350 Watts. It can be located on the front wheel, rear wheel or crank. The battery is located in a compartment in the frame or on the back.

Because it has these two additional components, the electric bicycle is heavier than the conventional one, but the motor alleviates this sensation when pedaling. This happens because of the assisted pedal: pedaling activates the engine, which comes into action and makes the bike lighter. 

The engine of an electric bicycle reaches a speed of 25 km/h, and its battery has a range of 60 km, according to information from Tembici — a startup micromobility and iFood partner in the program iFood Pedal (click here to learn more about iFood Pedal).

According to the company, “the electric bike expands the possibility of daily use, as it facilitates longer trips with different terrains, requiring less effort from the pedaler”.

Protective equipment

As the two bikes are very similar, the protective equipment for riding them is almost the same. According to Aliança Bike, the difference is that the electric bicycle must have a speed indicator. 

Both models, therefore, must be equipped with a bell, front, rear and side night signals, rear-view mirrors on both sides — and their tires must always be in minimum safety condition. The fact that they have an engine does not exclude electric bicycles from roads dedicated to this mode: they can also circulate on cycle paths and cycle lanes.

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